LOS ANGELES (CN) — Harvey Weinstein's "slobbering apology" during a settlement conference with a woman who accused him of attempted rape in 1998 will be allowed to be recounted to the jury at his Los Angeles sexual assault trial.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench ruled Tuesday she would allow the testimony of Rowena C., the purported victim of the 1998 rape attempt, over the objections of Weinstein's lawyer that the "slobbering apology to Rowena" in London is too far removed from the rape and assault charges that the disgraced movie producer is on trial for and would be too prejudicial to him.
“If he tried to rape someone in 1998, he made an admission about it which has been dredged up and recently adopted by a witness who” never spoke about it for 25 years, Weinstein's attorney Mark Werksman told Lench outside the presence of the jurors.
Weinstein, 70, who became the poster boy of the #MeToo movement in 2017 and who has already been convicted of rape by a New York jury, is being tried on charges he sexually assaulted or raped four women in the LA area, including two within days of each other. The judge had already agreed that five additional women can testify about being assaulted by Weinstein to bolster the prosecution claims about his modus operandi with young actresses and models.
The four women Weinstein has been charged with assaulting are only identified as Jane Doe 1 through 4 in court; the corroborating witnesses are identified by their first names and the initial of their last name. These so-called uncharged victims include a dancer who performed in "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights," a Norwegian model, and an Italian model who reported Weinstein to the New York police in 2015 and collaborated with a sting operation against the producer.
Werskman argued Rowena C.’s testimony would make the jury aware that Weinstein had settled assault allegations, which is supposed to be off limits in the trial. Also, the lawyer said, it would introduce yet another uncharged rape attempt in the trial, and her testimony is based, according to Werksman on second or third hand knowledge.
The testimony by Rowena C. was brought up at a pretrial hearing last week. Weinstein purportedly said at a law office in London where her case was being settled that sometimes he doesn't know when things are consensual and that sometimes he doesn't recognize his power, Werksman said at the pretrial hearing.
Deputy DA Paul Thompson said Tuesday that Werksman opened the door to allow this testimony because, during his opening statement Monday, Werksman told the jury that Weinstein always believed that the sexual encounters he engaged in where consensual. His 1998 admission undermines that claim.
Earlier Tuesday, Jane Doe 1, an Italian actress and model, continued her testimony about being raped by Weinstein in 2013, when he showed up at her hotel door uninvited and in the middle of the night.
She haltingly described how the producer first made her perform oral sex on him and then took her to the bathroom where he raped her over the sink while telling her to look at him in the mirror.
Doe said she didn't report the rape to the police until October 2017, after she had shared some information about it with her teenage daughter in Italy. She testified that her daughter had had a somewhat similar experience in school and that she told her daughter to go to the police and to "stand up for herself."
After her daughter went to the police in her own case, Doe said she went to the police the following month because "I promised my daughter."Follow @edpettersson
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